Having been late to the party for major releases by each of these two southern United States based death metal bands over the last few years I’d definitely jumped at the chance to get shoulder deep into this split 7″ EP between two entirely traditional yet distinct USDM bands. Because I am easily sold by Nether Temple Design artwork and the promise of pure death metal, this sort of release would be otherwise cursory beyond collection-filling though the pairing here is exactly right. Of course the baggage is heavier on my end when we are talking about Atlanta, Georgia based quartet Father Befouled who’d been straight bagged as “caverncore” back in the day though they’ve proven to be a damned elite force beyond the late 2000’s with ‘Revulsion of Seraphic Grace‘ (2012) still brutally underrated by folks who otherwise go apeshit for bands like Drawn and Quartered and Dead Congregation. Here on “Seraphic Augury / …Once Righteous” we get some of the darker, doom intensified shades of ‘Desolate Gods’ with the expansion upon the riff hit ~3:49 minutes into the piece being an incredible highlight beyond the Vigna-esque wizardry of the first portion of the song.

Exaugurate should be well known at this point for their ‘Chasm of Rapturous Delirium‘ EP from roughly this time last year. Now I’m not necessary on board with the direct comparisons to ‘Graves of the Archangels’ I’ve seen out in the wild but their sound does give off that sort of vibe both here and there. Formed between folks you’ll recognize from Cemetery Filth, Cruciamentum, and lesser known projects Hollowed Idols and Seraphic Entombment these are not first-timers but instead established folks who’ve come together with a clear purpose and style in mind. I would say if we’re going to point to related projects ‘Charnel Passages’ is a good starting point, a bit of early Incantation-esque morass but some sharper chaos from generations beyond throughout. Their piece here “Enveloped” is frankly not at all a B-side or a leftover to my ears, in fact it might be my favorite Exaugurate song to date thanks to the bass riff break into wailing guitar feedback around ~5:17 minutes into the song that lasts almost a full minute before they break back into their shit full blast for the finale. I love these sort of dynamic arrangements that are so often left out of modern dunder-headed pseudo-old school death metal. Both sides of this split are prime USDM in grand tradition, sitting with these two ~6 minute songs only served to intensified my loyalty to each project and well, again I can’t resist the distinct cover artwork either. Absolute mayhemic and immersive death metal with a heavy doomed element. A high recommendation.

High recommendation. (80/100)

Rating: 8 out of 10.
TITLE:Purging Holiness
LABEL(S):Rotted Life Records
RELEASE DATE:May 7th, 2021
BUY & LISTEN:Bandcamp [All Formats]
GENRE(S):Death Metal

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